Tuesday, 25 June 2019
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Election Monitoring Missions
117. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the name and age range of each observer appointed to the 2018 election observer roster; the country in which each resides; if they were members of the previous roster; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26641/19]
118. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the reason no long-term election observer from Ireland was sent to the election events in Ukraine in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26642/19]
119. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the reason the 2018 call for election observers made no provision for reasonable accommodation for disabled applicants; if his officials have been contacted by the Department of Health regarding the matter; if this aspect of the selection process will be reviewed having regard to the obligations of Ireland under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; his plans to appoint disabled election observers whose marks suffered due to the absence of reasonable accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26643/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 117 to 119, inclusive, together.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade administers and maintains a roster of suitably skilled individuals who are available to deploy on international election observation missions organised, in the main, by the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
A new roster was mustered in January 2019. As the security vetting of the persons shortlisted to that roster continues, the position regarding the disclosure of the list of names of the new roster remains as stated in the response to Parliamentary Question No. 73 of 29 May 2019, to which I refer the Deputy.
The roster mustering process is now complete. The Department did not receive any request for a reasonable accommodation during the seven week period for the submission of applications, or any stage prior to the appeals process deadline. The issue of reasonable accommodation has been addressed in the responses to Parliamentary Questions No. 60 of 23 January, No. 153 of 5 February, No. 65 of 6 February, No. 58 of 7 February, No. 124 of 12 February, Nos. 100 and 105 of 26 February, Nos. 117 and 119 of 5 March, Nos. 74, 76 and 81 of 6 March, No. 68 of 12 March, No. 157 of 26 March, No. 115 of 16 April and No. 73 of 29 May 2019. Further information is set out in the Information Note attached to this response.
The EU and the OSCE-ODHIR regularly issue calls for the nomination of observers to participate in the election missions organised under their auspices. The Department reviews each call and responds accordingly on a case-by-case basis, including with regard to the overall annual budget available for participation in election observation missions and the resources of the Department's Elections Desk.
Information concerning Ireland's substantial contribution to the OSCE election observation mission in Ukraine is set out in the response to Parliamentary Question No. 51 of 18 April 2019, to which I refer the Deputy.